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By UNICEF Australia
3 December 2021

Here in Australia, COVID-19 vaccines have saved countless lives. It’s kept our hospitals from overcrowding to the brink. It’s the reason we’re all looking forward to getting life back on track.

Every single community deserves the same level of safety but right now, just four per cent of lower-income countries are vaccinated. 

The statistics are shocking.  

In Africa, less than 1 in 10 health care workers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. And for every 18 doses of vaccine which have been delivered to G20 countries, only one has been delivered to low-income countries 

"It shouldn't be that way,” says Dr Susan Carland, UNICEF Australia Ambassador. 

"There is a really unfair disparity in terms of how good we have it in Australia with our access to vaccines compared to other parts of the world." 

The emergence of the Omicron variant makes it clear that the only pathway out of this pandemic is vaccine equity for people in every part of the world.  

The more opportunities the virus has to spread anywhere in the world, the more chances it has to mutate, allowing new variants to emerge. In the worst-case scenario, new variants could prove more transmissible or deadly.

This can’t go on. If you’ve had your jab pay it forward and help UNICEF deliver doses to those going without.

CEF Australia Ambassadors come together to Give The World A Shot

Vaccine equality for all 

UNICEF is leading the biggest vaccine drive in history. As part of COVAX, our teams will help deliver billions of COVID-19 vaccines, as well as millions of tests around the world. 

Across mountains and over rivers, our teams will stop at nothing to reach even the most remote communities with life-saving vaccines.  

“There's a lot of assumption that the whole world has the same access [to vaccines] that we do, and they just don't,” says Carrie Bickmore, UNICEF Australia Ambassador.  

“We're only going to be safe, if the whole world is safe." 

In neighbouring Papua New Guinea (PNG) just 1.7 per cent of adults have been fully vaccinated.  

Hospitals around the country are under huge stress. Local health workers are exhausted, and many have been infected. In some overcrowded hospitals vital supplies are running low. 

Rugby player and UNICEF Australia Ambassador Will Genia is encouraging Australians to pay their vaccine forward.
Rugby player and UNICEF Australia Ambassador Will Genia is encouraging Australians to pay their vaccine forward.
© Supplied

For Rugby player and proud Papua New Guinean Will Genia, COVID-19 is an issue that hits close to home. 

“As a son, brother and dad, it’s heartbreaking to watch communities at home in PNG lose their loved ones,” says the UNICEF Australia Ambassador. 

“My mum and brother had COVID-19, and sadly some of my cousins and friends have also passed away from the disease.” 

“We must protect everyone, especially the people keeping children safe, educated, and healthy. The children of PNG, and here in Australia, cannot afford to have their futures disrupted yet again.”

"Vaccination saves lives."

Will Genia

It’s not just a moral outrage that COVID-19 vaccines are unequally available. It’s dangerous too. Unequal access puts everyone at risk. 

But you can change all that. Donate to UNICEF Australia's Give the World a Shot campaign so that every community has access to vaccines.  

The pandemic is not over for anyone, until it is over for everyone.